Happy New Year! I know, I know. I'm a little late with my greeting. My parents came in bleary-eyed and jet-lagged on December 30, just in time to hot-tail it to Ascoli, get a little sleep, and start the celebrations.
I cooked up a cenone at home that could have rivaled most restaurants' special dinner parties, then we bundled up and walked to the Piazza Arringo to wait for the stroke of midnight. The mayor does the countdown each year, but he got a little long-winded, as he tends to do when giving speeches, so the church bells were tolling the hour before he could quite bring himself to wrap it up and proclaim the "official" call of midnight. Champagne corks were flying and fireworks were bursting while he was still droning along.
Giorgio and Francesca, still in a party mood after Santo Stefano, joined us. They toted along the fixings for the polenta fest, including the big wooden board needed for serving the dig-in-with-your-fork feast, just on the off-chance that we hadn't consumed enough food on New Year's Eve (which is technically known as San Silvestro, in case you're keeping track of the holidays and feast days around here). Except for an earth-shaking, ear-aching firecracker that scared the bejeebers out of us and caused a little damage to the historic Caffe Meletti, we all had a great time amidst the (mostly) controlled chaos and general merriment in the piazzas.
We've been scampering about the area showing them some of our favorite haunts, hence my lack of blogging. We'll be heading out tomorrow for a few days of touring before sadly dropping them off at the airport. I'll be back on the ol' blog somewhere around Thursday or Friday. Until then, I hope your New Year is bright, happy, and filled with life's simple pleasures.